Monday, December 30, 2013

A Miracle of Hope by Ruth Reid - Review of the first book in An Amish Wonders Novel series

Josiah Plank, a widower friend of Eli Wyse, has agreed to marry Eli's sister, Lindie. He has promised to give Lindie his name but not his heart. Eli takes Lindie to Michigan where Josiah lives, when they get off the bus Josiah asks to talk to Lindie privately. He has the money for her return ticket if she doesn't want to marry him, what he doesn't know is that Lindie feels like she has no choice. Lindie will not only be Eli's wife but she will care for his eight year old deaf daughter, Hannah.

Lindie is in a tough situation since she has to learn to communicate with Hannah, live with a man she doesn't love and is pregnant. Josiah didn't want a wife but needed help with his daughter and with keeping his home up. They both thought they'd suffered enough heartache but there is more to come. Hannah runs away a lot and keeps to herself, she likes to draw and seems to special gift from God.

I absolutely loved this book and wish I knew how to express how much I enjoyed it. I read it in two days which is very good for me with a book of this length. I loved the story, the characters and the events. Ruth did a fantastic job with this story and I am really looking forward to the next book and I can't even find a title for it. This book is due to be released tomorrow, December, 31,2013, hurry up and get it you won't be disappointed.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, December 28, 2013

An Angel by Her Side by Ruth Reid - Review of the third book in A Heaven On Earth Novel series

The angel Elias has his hands full in this book and Razzen is still interfering. Katie Bender saves her students when a tornado hits the school but the school is ruined along with a lot of other buildings in the area. Seth Stutzman is working on the beehives for his brother-in-law when the tornado hits and runs to the cellar under the school too. Amos, Seth's widowed brother-in-law despises Katie so much that he pulled his children out of school and they don't even attend church services. When Amos's oldest daughter Leah runs away from home and Amos goes blind, Seth has no choice but to ask Katie to come daily and help with the children.

When the people decide not to rebuild the school because of the cost and all the other repairs that are more important, Katie finds herself out of a job and may have to move in the grossdaadi haus at her brothers place. When Katie applies for another teaching job and does not get it she realizes it isn't losing the job that she's upset about, it's a broken heart again.

I really did enjoy this series, I like the way Ruth has the angels appearing and talking to the characters. It brings to life the fact that there are angels watching over us we just don't realize it, and they aren't always helping in a positive way. I would encourage others to get these books and read them and this is a continuing series so I would suggest you start with the first one "The Promise of an Angel" then the second which is "Brush of an Angel's Wings". Great job Ruth!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe by Irene Brand and Anita Higman

by Irene Brand
When Julia Mayfield returns from serving in the WACs in World War II she attempts to fulfill her only sisters dying request, to take her son to his dead father's family in Mistletoe, Kentucky. The trip to Mistletoe was a test in itself, she wasn't used to children, her nephew didn't really know her and when she gets off the bus in Booneville she has no way to get to Mistletoe and Booneville has no hotel. When she finally makes it to her sister's in-laws, they have locked themselves away in their house since hearing of their sons death and they don't know about Bobby so when she goes knocking on their door Bobby's grandfather threatens to kill her if she doesn't get off of his property. Now she has a decision to make, stay there and try to fulfill the promise she made to her sister or return home.

by Anita Higman
A baby was left on the steps of The Little Bethlehem Shoppe in the village of Noel, Missouri. Albert Goodnight, a single man, was the owner of the shop and found her sound asleep a wicker basket. Albert adopted Holly Rose but it was never discovered who left her or who her mother was. The residents of Noel knew the story and it was never talked about, until now that is. Someone told an author about the story so he decides he wants to write a story about Holly Rose Goodnight, if she'll agree to it. 

I really enjoyed "An Appalachian Christmas" and found it entertaining to read but "Once Upon A Christmas Eve" did not seem as good to me. I liked the story but had trouble keeping interested in it, like it was dragging to me, but you have to know that I prefer more historical genre over modern day, so that could be my problem. All-in-all they were both nice Christmas stories and I feel that others would enjoy both.

A Plain Scandal by Amanda Flower - Review of the second book in An Appleseed Creek series

It hasn't been long and there is another mystery in Appleseed Creek, girls are getting attacked and their hair is being cut, men's beards are being cut and now there is even a murder. Chloe Humphrey along with Timothy Troyer and the authorities are investigating to see if they are all connected and why. There are several suspects, both English and Amish suspects. Some people are beginning to call Chloe the 'Amish Whisperer'.

Another good read by Amanda and yet again I found myself putting my paperback book aside and reading my Kindle at home! As I was finishing the book I kept thinking in the back of my mind about how much I enjoyed reading Trixie Belden, Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew mysteries when I was younger. I am so looking forward to getting the third book "A Plain Disappearance", I guess I should have asked for that for Christmas, darn, maybe I can ask for it as a New Year's gift.

If you like mysteries and Amish stories you will love this series, I can't say enough about Amanda's writing, it is great and really pulls you into the story. She has just enough suspects that you don't get confused but it's still hard to solve the crime until you get very close to the end.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley  <> book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Biltmore Christmas by Diane Ashley, Sylvia BArnes, Rhonda Gibson and Jeri O'Dell

Four stories about four sisters who lost their parents when they were young then raised in a orphanage by Mama Elsie. They left the orphanage one be one as they became old enough to find a job to support themselves. The authors did a good job of bringing out the personality of each sister. I read this book pretty fast making it a good read for Christmas time.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Plain Death by Amanda Flower - Review of the First book in An Appleseed Creek Mystery Series

Becky Troyer is walking alone on a country road as she's leaving her Amish home for the English world when some burly men see her and try to get her into their green truck. Along comes Chloe Humphrey in her loaded down car looking for her newly rented house in Appleseed Creek, Ohio and seeing a girl alone, walking along a green truck with a disgusting looking man giving her a bad time, she takes a chance and stops to see if the girl needs help. Becky gets in with Chloe and now Chloe gains a houseguest and soon becomes the target of the two men in the green truck with a murder mystery to follow.

I've been wanting to read this series for a long time but as my 'to be read' list kept getting longer and longer it seemed like I was forgetting about it. For some reason I would think about reading the series, then would pick something else out. Finally I decided this is the time and it was a GREAT book. Now I wish I'd read it sooner, this book keeps you guessing and I wasn't quite sure who the target was or who was after the target. Amanda did a wonderful job!

I read this on my Kindle and I normally only read my Kindle when I'm in a vehicle, waiting in a doctors office, etc., but the closer I got to the end of this book I had to finish it TONIGHT! So, yes, I even read at home, my paperback had to wait! I will be starting the next book, "A Plain Scandal" tomorrow as I wait for my granddaughter to get out of school.

If you like Amish books and you like mysteries, you'll love this book. It's a great combination of Amish, English and a good mystery.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley  <> book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Christmas in Apple Ridge by Cindy Woodsmall - Review

There are three wonderful stories in this collection by Cindy Woodsmall. Two of them I'd read before, "The Sound of Sleigh Bells" and "The Christmas Singing" and one new story "The Dawn of Christmas". I reread the first two and enjoyed them just as much as I did the first time, I could not put the book down. The third story was just as enjoyable to read as the first two.

I like the fact that they were all connected, the characters knew each other. Cindy did a wonderful job of bringing the three stories together. Also, the fact that they would get out in bad snowstorms, I love that, it reminds me of my step-father, whenever there was a blizzard he JUST HAD to go someplace. We were a lot warmer though as we were in a car with a heater, except for the time we got stuck and had to walk about a mile.

Cindy draws you in and makes you feel like you are dealing with the heart tugging problems each person has to deal with. That is what keeps you reading late into the night, wanting them to realize that they are not seeing the whole story and they should listen to their heart. I think we are all guilty of that sometimes, especially when we have been stung before when the feelings are what we 'want' to feel, not what God wants for us. A definite must read!

Love Finds You on Christmas Morning by Debby Mayne and Trish Perry - Review

by Debby Mayne
William Tronnier has been attracted to Lillian Pickard since last Christmas when he met her at a party, William is wealthy and Lillian is penniless. Lillian thinks it strange when William offers her a ride home in his automobile, a new thing in 1926 and her parents don't like the idea at all. William is as persistent about them being together as Lillian and her parents are insistent that they don't belong together, being in two different social classes.

by Trish Perry
Nikki Tronnier has taken a job in her hometown so she can fulfill her lifelong dream of purchasing her family home. Drew Cornell is working in town and finds an old home that has been on the market for over a year and makes a bid and buys the house out from under her just when she's saved enough money to make her own bid. Nikki met Drew while walking her boss's dog and Drew was walking his dog. When Nikki discovers Drew bought the house she dreamed about buying she doesn't tell him. When Drew finds out he offers to sell it to her and walk away.

These are a couple of great Christmas stories that I enjoyed. They were pretty fast reads and hard to put down, especially "Deck the Halls", I love Christian Historical's, that could be why. But picking up with one of the family members in modern day was a nice. If you are looking for some short Christmas stories I would encourage you to read these two.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Plain & Fancy Christmas by Cynthia Keller - Review

Rachel King and Rachel Lawrence were born in the same hospital in Lancaster, Pennsylvania 2 days apart, both were raised in loving families, one was raised Amish and one was raised in the English world. Elle, Rachel Lawrence's nickname, was raised in Manhattan in an affluent family, she is single and has a good job. She has one brother and one sister and is very successful in her career. Rachel Yoder (King) was raised in Lancaster and has several brothers and sisters. She is a widow of three years and has a daughter Katie, 11 years old.

Rachel and Katie have moved back home with Rachel's parents since her husband passed because she couldn't handle the farm on her own. She isn't real happy living there, but life is good and she is Amish through and through. Elle is settled in her own apartment in Manhattan but gets stressed with her job, otherwise life is good for her too.

Things change drastically when both women receive a letter from a nurse who worked at the hospital they were born in. It seems she was married to a doctor who was an alcoholic and he got so he was going to work drunk, that's when the mix-up happened, he sent Rachel King home with the Lawrence's! She covered it up for her husband so he wouldn't lose his job and be ridiculed, he would never be able to get another job anyplace, and she loved him deeply. She is dying when she decides it's time the girls know the truth. Now the two have to deal with this 'mix-up' for the rest of their lives.

Just imagine how you would feel if this happened to you, not only are they raised in different areas of the country, but completely different lifestyles. How would you deal with this, would you immediately want to meet your biological parents, how would you explain this to your children if you have any (like Rachel does)? How would you feel if the other woman came to meet her parents and you felt she was treated better than you had been your whole life? Do you think you would consider the other woman and what she was feeling or just think about yourself, would you want to talk to her or would you just try to bury the whole thing and live the life you were put into?

A VERY interesting book, I like the way Cynthia tells the feelings of the two women and how they dealt with what happened. I know this has happened and I don't know how I would deal with it. Wonderful look into a difficult situation. I would suggest this book as I found it very good. I think this is the first book I've read by Cynthia and I will be looking for more.